CAROLINA ALUMNI REVIEW 11
THE UMSTEAD.COM | CARY, NC | 866.877.4141
A stay that lasts
A UNC First: Gaelic Studies
It is, according to Scotland’s national news- paper, a first among American universities:
Carolina is opening a lectureship in Gaelic
studies, and an alumnus is behind the project.
The lectureship is expected to be filled in
early 2018. It’s being funded by Scottish
Heritage USA, which is dedicated to enhancing
the bonds of ancestral and national character
between the people of Scotland and North
The Rev. Douglas Kelly ’ 65, president of
Scottish Heritage, explained: “The Carolinas
were home to the largest Gaelic-speaking com-
munities outside of Scotland for generations,
and people of highland ancestry still make up a
large segment of the region’s population. This
is an ideal time to foster scholarship about
the Gaelic legacy of the Carolinas and North
America as a whole in the academy.”
Mary Floyd-Wilson ’ 89 (MA, ’ 96 PhD),
incoming chair of the English and comparative
literature department, said she hopes this is a
prelude to endowment of a full chair in Scottish
and Gaelic studies.
promise for building on our knowledge
about biological causes of autism, the
range of characteristics of individuals with
autism, behavioral interventions to address
developmental and learning needs, and
the most effective interventions matched
to the needs of individuals with autism,”
said Odom, who is co-chair of the center’s
executive committee and director of the
Frank Porter Graham Child Development
While the center will be housed in the
School of Medicine, its researchers will
span the University, working across all areas
of autism research — genetics, development, biomedical and cognitive.
Zylka is director of the UNC Neuro-science Center; Philpot is associate director. Piven, co-chair of the new center’s
executive committee, is director of the
developmental disabilities institute. Daniels
works in the Gillings School of Global
Public Health. Klinger directs the UNC
TEACCH Autism Program.
“This new center gives us the oppor-
tunity to work with basic scientists and
clinical researchers on a much deeper level
to pursue more targeted and effective inter-
ventions,” Klinger said.
One in 68 children in the U.S. is
diagnosed with autism spectrum disorder,
which is characterized by a wide range
of challenges related to communication,
social skills and repetitive behaviors.
North Carolina’s autism rate is above the
national average, with about 65,000 people
diagnosed, most of them boys.
One path toward targeted treatments
runs through the study of genetics. It
could be that different autism symptoms
are linked to different genetic subtypes.
Addressing underlying genetics might benefit people with autism. For this, basic scientists, clinical researchers, health care professionals and families must work together.
The William R. Kenan Jr. Charitable
Trust has committed $100,000 in the center’s first year and a matching gift in the
second year contingent on the center raising $200,000.